Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Chatpata Hara Chana (Green Chickpeas)

Which is your least favourite job in the kitchen?

- Washing the dishes?
- Cleaning the mess after cooking?
- Chopping the veggies?
- Any other?

Well, for me the clear winner will be cleaning and chopping the vegetables - esp. ladies finger / okra, cleaning "saag" (green leafy vegetables) like methi, shelling peas and the likes. Yup, I do not like shelling peas at all. Hence, I find it easier to resort to the frozen alternate available in the market.

But, there comes a time when one is forced to slave and spend 3 hours (yes, 3 long hours) for the love of fresh green chickpeas aka hara chana / choliya. The chana, which grows in bushes (remember, chane ki jhaad?) is in the form of pods. The pods need to be individually opened to make way for the chickpeas, so that they can be cooked.

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I love hare chane and aloo ki subzi (green chickpeas cooked with potatoes). My mom would make it when the chickpeas were in season, and it tasted yum. But I always refrained from buying it because of the work it would lead to. However, I could not stop myself this time when I visited the local super market. The pods were being sold in packets of 1 kilo each, and I went ahead and purchased it.
What ensued was a 3 hour work spent shelling the pods. I called my Mom the next day to ask her expert advice on how she does it.


Excerpts of my conversation with Mom on Hara Chana:

Me: Mom, I bought hara chana yesterday at the supermarket yesterday.And guess what, I spent 3 hours shelling them!
Mom: Wow! That's a really long time
Me: I know. How do you do it? What's the trick?
Mom: I don't know.
Me: (confused)
Mom: Our vegetable vendor sells them all cleaned and shelled!
Me (In my mind): (Cursing the vegetable vendors in my city)


So, I made hara chana - in two batches - once with potatoes, and the second time on their own, flavored with lemon and ginger. Sharing the second recipe with you.


Shelled green chickpeas / hara chana: 2 cups
Oil (Mustard / Vegetable): 2 - 3 tablespoon
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Ginger, finely chopped: 1/2 tsp
Green chilles, finely chopped: 2 - 3 (or as per taste)
Coriander powder: 1 - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp (Optional)
Juice of half a lemon (or more)
Chopped coriander
Salt: To taste


- Boil the chickpeas in around 4 cups of water. If you are using the pressure cooker, it will take 5 minutes on low flame after the first whistle. Drain the water.
- Heat oil in a pan / kadai
- Add the cumin seeds. When they begin to splutter, add the ginger and green chillies. Lower the flame
- When the chillies begin to change color, add the coriander powder and turmeric powder. You may also mix the spices in a few teaspoons of water to prevent burning. Stir on low heat for a few seconds.
- Add the chana and salt. Mix well.
- Turn off heat. Add the lemon juice and coriander.
- Adjust salt and lemon juice. Serve hot

Serve it as a snack, as a filling breakfast or with parathas / rotis. You can also garnish it with chopped onions and tomatoes for added flavour.

I am sending this recipe to My Legume Love Affair - 19th Helping. The event started by Susan, is being hosted this month by EC of Simple Indian Food.


  1. looks very tasty! it is a shame we can't get this here!

  2. This looks wonderful. I have never seen the pods that chickpeas grow in. Thanks this was very interesting.

  3. nice recipe.. we used to just roast the harbara in a huge kadhai with salt. and eat it (shelling and all) while talking with a cup of tea. very good timepass

  4. lovely pics and recipe! I know its a big pain to shell them.

  5. Yummy chickpeas!

  6. Fresh chickpeas are definitely worth the work. My least favorite job -- shelling fava beans. My favorite -- measuring my ingredients for baked goods. It's so precise and scientific, yet produces such magical results.

  7. Dear all, thanks for the comments :)

    Hi 3 hungry tummies - you can try this recipe with green peas as well. The taste will be slightly different, but it will still be very tasty!

    Hi Carol - Thanks for visiting. Are the pods available in your country?

    Hi Gauri - I have never tried the roasted version. The shelling seems much more fun then. Let me see if I can get hold of another packet for your version.

    Hi Preeti - I tried using the food processor to shell the pods. It helped open the pods to some extent so that the work became easier.

    Hi 5 Star Foodie - I love dried chickpeas as well. They too are quite yum!

    Hi Vegetable Matter - I agree with you about measuring ingredients. One is so sure about the outcome. Have never tried fava beans though.

  8. Love such simple snacks..thanks for the entry

  9. hey you dint post anything for so long??

    I checked out this post of your's now and see my favorite hara chana here ......have been away from blogs n net during that time ...

    hare chane or chholia is a family favorite n is made in many ways , i even make a oil free yummy rasedaar suzi......your plates look yummy n make me drool....


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